Rev. Mark H. Creech
Some argue that no one has ever gone to heaven and come back to tell us what they saw, but evidently, that’s what happened to the apostle John. In chapters four and five of the book of Revelation, John, by invitation from the Lord, visited the very throne room of the Almighty. There he witnessed things remarkable for which there was little earthly reference. He was allowed to see what pertains to the earth’s final days.
Why was the apostle given this privilege and then instructed to write it down and report it in detail? The late Dr. Billy Graham explains in his book, Approaching Hoofbeats:
Behind the universe, there is a Power worthy of our praise and of our trust. In spite of rumors to the contrary, we are not creatures abandoned on a planet spinning madly through the universe, lost in galaxies upon galaxies of gaseous flaming suns or burnt-out cinder moons. We are the children of a great and wonderful God who even now sits in power, accomplishing His purposes in His creation…The national powers that we see hellbent for destruction – amassing weapons, killing, and being killed – are not the ultimate power. Nor are the individual figures who rule in our lives the ultimate powers; mothers, fathers, teachers, pastors, counselors, politicians, diplomats, bankers, police officers, social workers, wardens and jailors, probation officers, tax collectors, dictators and their soldiers, kings and presidents will one day stand powerless before this God…The Revelation is carefully calculated to restore and renew hope.
In chapter 5, the Lord Jesus Christ is the only one in the entire universe found worthy to take the seven-sealed scroll, which is the title deed to the world. Each seal he opens shall reveal the final course of God’s redemptive purposes for this universe and everything in it.
As John, the four creatures, the twenty-four elders, the thousands upon thousands of angels, and the saved of all the ages, witness the Lamb (Christ) open the first seal of the scroll, the Bible says:
Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory (Revelation 6:1-2).
Events on the earth have been building for quite some time for this moment. Like the low and steady rumble from a bass drum that grows increasingly intense and the curtain from the stage that starts to roll back, the first act of God’s judgment is revealed. But who is this rider upon a white horse?
Some have said they believe this rider on the white horse is Christ. Almost all the biblical writers until AD 150 took the white horse and its rider as a symbol of the Gospel message, successfully advancing to people of every race, tribe, and language. The color white in the Bible, it has been argued, is always associated with Jesus or spiritual victory.
As compelling as this argument is, it doesn’t seem to fit the context. As seen later in the book of Revelation, three other horsemen follow the white horseman, and they represent war, famine, and death. Would we expect these to follow in the train of the Gospel’s success? Hardly.
Christ seems to be the rider of the white horse mentioned in Revelation 19:11-16.
The Greek word stephanos describes the crown worn by the rider in Revelation 6, meaning this rider is not crowned at first but receives a victor’s crown later. His bow has no arrow, which indicates the many battles he wins are by diplomacy.
The rider on the white horse in Revelation 19 comes with the armies of heaven to engage in the last great war – the battle of Armageddon, where all the ungodly forces from every land will gather to challenge God’s sovereignty. The rider on the white horse in Revelation 19 wears crowns or diadema, which are crowns of royalty.
So, the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6 is an imposter – a counterfeit. He appears as someone good who brings peace and prosperity. He poses as the world’s Messiah, but trouble will follow in his wake like no other in human history.
This rider is the one the Scriptures refer to as the AntiChrist.
AntiChrist describes a spirit opposed to core Gospel truth in John’s First and Second Epistles.
John says, “Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either (I John 2:22).“
Again, John writes, “This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here” (I John 4:2-3).
The apostle also speaks of many “Anti-Christs” in I John 2:18.
Throughout the centuries, there have been those who operate in the spirit of antichrists, denying or distorting the truth of the Gospel. Cults operate in the spirit of antichrist. Liberal theologians who deny the deity of Jesus and say he was only a good man or just a tremendous teacher speak in the spirit of antichrist. These same theologians who do not accept Jesus’ death as substitutionary for the sinner but believe it was only a religious martyr’s demise are antichrists. These same wolves in sheep’s clothing who deny his bodily resurrection from the grave are antichrists.
Prosperity preachers today who get people to set their affections on materialism rather than the life of the Cross – a life of sacrifice for God and one’s fellow man – are operating in the spirit of antichrists.
The spirit of antichrist is represented in people who always reference Jesus as meek and mild, only helping the poor, the sick, and the needy, but never rebuking sin and becoming righteously indignant with sinful behavior. Although Jesus talked about hell more often than he did heaven, the spirit of antichrist says Jesus would never condemn someone to such a terrible place of torment.
For many, Jesus seemingly embraces all forms of sexual immorality. He is depicted in scenes wrapped with a rainbow flag or a beer in his hand or smoking on a marijuana cigarette. These are the spirit of antichrist.
Nevertheless, in several places in Scripture, writers recognize an identifiable end-time individual who shall appear – a man who personifies evil itself. This individual will come as an angel of light, but is really an extremely wicked man who arises to climax and brings to a sinful close human history without God. The apostle Paul said of this person:
Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God. (I Thessalonians 2:2-4).
This rider on the white horse is a counterfeit Emancipator and Deliverer who is brilliant and strategical; with such persuasive arguments concerning politics, religion, military, economics, commerce, etc., the entire world, including the Jews, will see him as their long-awaited Savior.
His success as a world conqueror is because he is in league with the devil himself. He will even unite world religions under his leadership, declaring himself God. Sadly, people will believe him.
We might have already seen a microcosm of this in history.
The late Dr. R.C. Sproul, theologian, pastor, teacher, and chairman of the board of Ligonier Ministries, has written:
When I was studying back in Europe back in the sixties, even though it was twenty years after the end of World War II, the bookstores in Amsterdam were filled with literature about the Second World War. The memories were still very vivid and keen to these people, who suffered so much more than we in this country suffered at that time. I remember reading a book that was a result of the release of earlier classified documents from the archives that was titled Hitler, the Scourge of Europe, in which private documents of Hitler’s were photocopied and printed. One was an early entry from his diary, in which was scribbled in Hitler’s own handwriting: ‘This evening I have made a covenant with Satan.’ He wasn’t just kidding. There was a serious effort by Adolf Hitler to engage the assistance of the Prince of Darkness in the programs he set forth. Obviously, that was all happening under the sovereignty of God. God has his reasons for allowing that to happen for a season, but obviously, he reserves that moment when his powerful judgment falls on Satan and on people like Hitler, and God’s righteous power is ultimately vindicated.
How very true! Something of this nature will happen again, but even more dramatically and with a broader scope. Current events seem to be quickly developing in this direction as we see Christian churches departing from sound doctrinal teaching and declining in membership, especially in the West. Everywhere in Europe, there are empty cathedrals and church buildings.
A rider sits on a white horse, chomping at the bit and poised to spring from the gate to race throughout the earth, deceiving the masses. Hell will follow him.
There is a way for you and your family to avoid this tragedy. Surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ now. There are no more Messiahs. He is the only hope. He is the one true Savior.
Repent of your sins and turn to Jesus in faith that you might be raptured, redeemed from the coming peril that awaits those in the last days who refuse to believe the Gospel.© Rev. Mark H. Creech
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